Am I a foodie? Am I not a foodie?
Sometimes I am one or the other. Last night, I was both.
L looked at the menu for the week and declared that “Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes were made to go together”. Where did I ever get this genius idea? Incredible. As the parent of a ‘tween, I go from brilliance to mind numbing stupidity in the blink of an eye. But, last night I was Einstein at the table. Smart enough to put the two dishes together, and smart enough to not sweat the details….sometimes.
So, here is where I make my foodie/not a foodie admission. I love meatloaf. Not such a non-foodie food, you could say it works well as comfort food or could be considered retro trendy. Especially in this economy. But, I have never found a meatloaf recipe that is as good or easy or flavorful…here it comes…as the one that I make using, gulp, A MIX. I’m looking at the package now: McCormick Meat Loaf Seasoning Mix. Which has a full 14% of your daily value of sodium per serving. I think I only tried the mix because I really wanted meatloaf, couldn’t find a recipe that I liked and just bought it. Now, I don’t even try new recipes for this dish. I’d probably make my own ketchup before I made my own meatloaf at this point. Embarrassing, and yet, predictable, delicious, flavorful, moist (if you use ground chuck), easy. I’m all for ease. I’m all for homemade. Just because I use a mix, doesn’t mean it isn’t homemade.
Still, I feel guilt. It is in my nature and my genetic make-up. If I were served this meatloaf at someone’s home, I’d ask for the recipe. I’d be surprised that it was a mix, pleased to know that a mix could be that delicious. But, making the meatloaf with a mix myself, I feel like it is somehow not worthy. I’m nuts.
How do I make up for what feels like a lapse in judgement, even though it is clearly not that? What about the consumption of hydrolyzed corn gluten, among other taste enhancing ingredients in the packet? First, we don’t have meatloaf very often. Second, I got 2 lbs. of grass fed beef (unfortunately, not chuck, so it was a little dry). Third, the sides that I served were wholesome. Whoo hoo. Light fluffy yukon gold mashed potatoes. Steamed carrots (raw snap peas for L, because she doesn’t like carrots – though I sweetly request, i.e., force, her to try each time). Crunchy salad with balsamic vinegar and basil olive oil.
We were too hungry to take photos once the meatloaf was out of the oven. The meal was scarfed down before I could find my camera.
And, for dessert….those Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies were still in the cabinet. Served with some fruit, of course.